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Legalism in Kenya
September 16, 2014 Seth Mairori

Legalism in Kenya

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Kenya is a young country with very old traditions. This is both a good and bad thing. As a country it is still developing and has not reached its peak yet. As a people we are struggling to find our place in this world. I feel this is the way it is with most countries in Africa as well. Our traditions demand one thing, yet popular western culture demands another. The church has established quite a strong foothold in Kenya and a large number of Kenyans claim to be christians. I have no trouble with this except with the fact that legalism is large and running rampant in Kenya. I do believe legalism is good to a certain degree, however in Kenya it is being used in the wrong way. Most christians believe you have to do certain things to be a christian. Our traditions cause us to be very disciplined and legalistic. Things must be done in a certain way at an exact time. I have no problem with this except that it emphasizes our works and that transfers over to Christianity. It has turned it into a religion instead of being a relationship. I will use myself as an example. I used to believe if you do not give offering in the church, God will love you less and you will no longer be a christian. I used to believe that anyone who drank alcohol is a nonbeliever. These things are not true, but our culture and the way we have interpreted Christianity would have us believe that. The younger generation is now turning away from God in large numbers, and even if they go to church they do so to meet their friends. This is because of what we have experienced. In Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, popular culture is everywhere. My generation has been heavily exposed to it and is more attracted to it than our own traditions. We turn away from our own traditions and christianity because we believe they are outdated and boring. There are too many rules to be followed. It has led to a generation that is lost and struggling to find their way. We do not know that there is much joy to be found in a relationship with Christ. Our sin has blinded us and the only way to start changing my country is to expose them to the truth of Christ in a way that they will see freedom.

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